The venerable Riva yard is planning to introduce a new 88-footer. Due to launch at the start of 2015, the 88 Miami is designed to be one of the largest open top powerboats ever devised and (with its mechanised opening roof), the first fully convertible powerboat in the world.

Roof closed

Riva 88 Miami with roof closed.

Developed by Ferretti (and built by deck gear specialist, Besenzoni), the roof mechanism uses a pair of electro-hydraulic arms, which emerge from the sides of the coachroof, swing the hardtop forwards and lower it into position on the foredeck seating area. They then tuck themselves back into their pods, leaving 40 feet of foredeck ahead and nearly 40 feet of open cockpit behind. Happily, the process can also be paused, creating a very useful suspended sunshade above the foredeck seats.

Roof open and stowed forward

Riva 88 Miami with roof open and stowed mechanically in the recessed seating area forward of the helm station.

Even so, with the roof retracted, Riva is describing the 88 Miami as “the biggest, coolest and most awesome open powerboat the world has ever seen” – and if you want to make it slightly more “awesome”, you can specify the extra 400hp of the optional MTU 16V 2000 M94 engines. Of course, the 5 per cent increase in performance would reduce the cruising range from 340 to 325 nautical miles – so in either case, exploring that ‘Category A’ rating on oceanic transits is not on the cards. But for a spot of high-end marina-hopping in the Caribbean, this ingenious four-berth plaything looks like an extremely compelling package.

It’s certainly not the world’s first powered convertible - and I would be profoundly surprised if it were the second, third or even fourth. In that regard, its grandiose words sound about as plausible as its starter boat credentials. But if you’re lucky enough to be in the market for a five million pound ‘sports boat’, you owe it to yourself to take a closer look.



Riva 88 Miami: Specifications

LOA: 26.6m

Beam: 6.2m

Displacement: 60,000kg

Guest cabins: 4

Crew cabins: 4

Fuel capacity: 7,500 litres

Water capacity: 900 litres

Standard engines: 2 x MTU 16V 2000 M93

Max speed: 38.5 knots

Cruising range: 340nm

RCD category: A

Price: £4,880,000

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Written by: Alex Smith
Alex Smith is a journalist, copywriter and magazine editor with a long history in boating and a happy addiction to the water. He’s worked on boats, lived on boats, bought boats, sold boats and – when he’s not actually on board a boat – he can generally be found in his Folkestone office, tapping away at the computer and gazing out to sea.